In the News The National Law Journal

D.C. Rising Stars 2019: Emily Hughes

Q: What was the most valuable lesson you learned in your first year practicing law?
A: Answer the phone and say “yes.” As a result, I ended up second chairing a multimillion-dollar trial as a second-year associate with one of the firm’s toughest litigators. And again later in my career it resulted in one of the closest, most important client relationships I have.

Q: Describe your biggest win or accomplishment in practice.
A: I represented a private equity firm in its CEO’s divorce and working closely with his personal counsel, we were able to successfully negotiate a settlement of less than 10% of the client’s multibillion-dollar net worth—with no break-up of the business or any share or control in the business.

Q: Who is your greatest lawyer mentor, and what has he or she taught you?
A: David Breach, former Kirkland partner and now COO of Vista Equity Partners, [a client of the firm,] encouraged me to sit back and let things work themselves out the way they’re supposed to.

Q: Please share a brief key to your success.
A: Becoming an expert in whatever matters most to the client. Great heels help, too! In all seriousness, being confident in what you know and confident enough to get an answer when you don’t know something is also key—and if great heels help you have that confidence, go for it!
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